Letters of Sri Aurobindo
Volume 1. 1935
Letter ID: 1440
Sri Aurobindo — Nirodbaran Talukdar
October 8, 1935
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D.R. is all right. No temperature. He wants to come to Pranam.
I suppose he can, Doctore volente (Doctor willing).
Please have a look at Calcutta Review for a criticism by Adhar Das. I don’t know if you have seen it already.
Yes, I have read all these sweet things from the sweet adhar.1
I gather that he is favourably disposed to your philosophy, so much so that he has written a book on it.
He was (favourable), without understanding much, before A.B. butted in and gored him into bitterness.
He doesn’t seem to have grasped well the thing, has he?
“Methinks” he hasn’t. Grasp of things is not his forte.
His remark about the divinisation of the individual and the emergence of the new race does not seem to be correct.
He seems to think that D.I. = E.N.R. or C.S.R.2 So if D.I. is possible, C.S.R. is superfluous or out of the question. Why, I dont know, for it takes individuals to make a race and if a certain number of individuals are not divinised, I don’t see how you are going to get a divinised race. As for it being out of the question, the great Panjandrum alone knows why if an individual is divinised – (one obviously is not enough), it should be out of the question to go on divinising others until you have a new race. But I suppose, unless you create unnecessary quibbles, there can be no “intellectual” philosophy.
He says, “Divinisation of the individual will be instrumental in the emergence of a new race.” Is that what you mean by “Our Yoga is not for our sake but for the Divine”?
I thought there was quite a difference between divinisation and supramentalisation, the one being a step to the other; so you won’t stop at divinisation.
Yes, of course, but as I have never explained in these letters what I meant by Supermind, these critics are necessarily all at sea. They think, pardonably enough, that anything above human mind must be supramental.
I suppose it will be a presumption on my part to criticise a philosopher like him from whom, you wrote to T, you learnt your philosophy.
No, no! Not learnt,– say that I am slowly learning from him. For he is kindly teaching me what I meant.
People are longing to see the first batch of the supramental species from your great laboratory, Sir.
Go forward, go forward and show yourself.
Then the critic writes that you are making an extravagant claim in as much as it gives a lie to logic and also to the lives and experiences of past seers. Well, Sir?
Well, I don’t suppose the new race can be created by or according to logic or that any race has been. But why should the idea of the creation of a new race be illogical? It is not only my ideas that baffle reason, but Adhar Das’s also! he must really be a superman, self-made of course, outside the laboratory. As for the past seers, they don’t trouble me. If going beyond the experiences of the past seers and sages is so shocking, each new seer or sage in turn has done that shocking thing – Buddha, Shankara, Chaitanya, etc. all did that wicked act. If not, what was the necessity of their starting new philosophies, religions, schools of Yoga? If they were merely verifying and meekly repeating the lives and experiences of past seers and sages without bringing the world some new thing, why all that stir and pother? Of course, you may say they were simply explaining the old truth but in the right way – but this would mean that nobody had explained or understood it rightly before – which is again “giving the lie etc.” Or you may say that all the new sages (they were not among Adhar’s cherished past ones in their day), e.g. Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva were each merely repeating the same blessed thing as all the past seers and sages had repeated with an unwearied monotony before them. Well, well, but why repeat it in such a way that each “gives the lie” to the others? Truly, this shocked reverence for the past is a wonderful and fearful thing! After all, the Divine is infinite and the unrolling of the Truth may be an infinite process or at least, if not quite so much, yet with some room for new discovery and new statement, even perhaps new achievement, not a thing in a nutshell cracked and its contents exhausted once for all by the first seer or sage, while the others must religiously crack the same nutshell all over again, each tremblingly careful not to give the lie to the “past” seers and sages.
2 Divinisation of the individual = emergence of new race or creation of supramental race.
3 SABCL, volumes 22, 26: of past
4 CWSA, volume 29: and
5 SABCL, volume 26: things
6 SABCL, volumes 22, 26: fearful
[A letter: ] Sri Aurobindo; Nirodbaran Talukdar. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo: The Complete Set [in 2 volumes].- 2nd ed., 3d inpression.- Volume 1.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2001.- 602 p.
Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.
Sri Aurobindo. On Himself // SABCL.- Volume 26. (≈ 35 vol. of CWSA)
Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.